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updated: 5/31/2011 11:37 PM

Humber continues to impress for White Sox

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  • White Sox starting pitcher Philip Humber improved to 4-3 with Tuesday night's victory at Boston. His ERA is 3.06.

      White Sox starting pitcher Philip Humber improved to 4-3 with Tuesday night's victory at Boston. His ERA is 3.06.

 
 

White Sox general manager Kenny Williams has said it many times, and manager Ozzie Guillen has echoed his thoughts.

To paraphrase, talent always takes precedent over take-home pay with the Sox.

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If the adage indeed holds up, Phil Humber is going to stay in the White Sox' rotation because he has been their most consistent starter this season.

"The guy keeps showing people, and proving himself, pitching against a good-hitting ballclub and doing it right," manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters after Humber and the White Sox beat the Red Sox 10-7 Tuesday night at Fenway Park. "I could be sitting here talking good things about him all night."

Don't be fooled by the final score in the White Sox' sixth straight win at Fenway dating to 2009. Humber was again in complete control as the White Sox carried a 10-1 lead into the eighth inning.

But the right-hander ran into trouble in the eighth, allowing 1 run on 3 hits. Humber exited with Boston runners on first and third and two outs, and reliever Will Ohman came on and served up a 3-run homer to David Ortiz.

Humber (4-3) was charged with 4 runs on 9 hits in 7⅔ innings, the first time in 7 starts he has allowed more than 3 runs. At 3.06, Humber has the lowest ERA among White Sox starters, of which there still are six.

That's going to be one too many after Wednesday's matinee against the Red Sox to close a 10-game road trip.

The White Sox are expected to cut back to the regular five-man rotation starting Friday against the Detroit Tigers, so who goes?

With a $500,000 salary this season, Humber is pulling down much less than rotation mates Jake Peavy ($16 million), Mark Buehrle ($14 million), Edwin Jackson ($8.75 million), John Danks ($6 million) and Gavin Floyd ($5 million).

Does that mean Humber is the odd man out?

If the White Sox do the right thing, Danks should be moved to the bullpen.

Yes, the left-hander has been frequently victimized by a lack of offensive support -- the White Sox have scored 2 runs or fewer in 5 of his 11 starts -- but Danks still deserves his share of the blame for being 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA.

It's a tough situation, but Humber gives the White Sox a great chance to win every time out, and he deserves to keep his spot.

Danks could have used some of the firepower Humber got Tuesday.

The red-hot Alexei Ramirez had another 4-hit game, his second in the last 10. The White Sox' shortstop also drove in 3 runs.

Gordon Beckham (3-for-5, RBI) continued his climb and the White Sox wound up handing Boston starter Alfredo Aceves (2-1) his first loss in more than two years. While pitching for the Yankees and the Red Sox, Aceves had won 12 straight decisions.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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